This week, you're going to have your choice of brand spanking new DVDs about the corporate world. In one corner, you have Up in The Air, an introspective story about a man evaluating his life and his work, and in the other corner, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore's latest documentary about how corporate America is screwing you. Now while Jason Reitman centered his story on the personal side of downsizing and financial ruin, Moore, as a documentary filmmaker and social activist, is all about the facts (or as much about the facts as Moore can ever be) and his film is about grand scale financial collapse, bank bailouts and a general indictment of capitalism in the Western world. In fact, the two flicks could even make for a fun (and I use the term loosely) double bill for a cause and effect movie night.
Now, if that sounds a little heavy for a night on the couch, that's alright, because for today's Cinematical Seven, I thought we might want to take a step back from reality and into the world of fantasy. Besides, some of you might be reading this from a beige and gray locale as I speak, and it might do us all some good to engage in a little daydreaming. Now, in most movies, big corporations are usually pretty evil, and I'm not talking bad corporate citizen evil, I'm talking big time, capitalistic future run amok evil (see what happens when you don't listen to Michael Moore?). So today, let's play a game and see if you have what it takes to work for an evil movie corporation.
After the jump: 7 recruiting tips to help you land your dream job at an evil corporation from the movies...
1) Cyberdyne Systems Corporation: Terminator
Ideal applicants should understand the basic principles of time travel and be able to overcome stunning gaps in logic.
While most movie fans think of Skynet when they talk about the time traveling action franchise, the devoted remember that Judgment Day could not have been possible without good old Cyberdyne and a Terminator who was crushed in the fictional corporation's manufacturing presses. Thanks to Cyberdyne, humanity's fate is sealed when this Californian manufacturing company scores a pretty sweet military contract. I mean, it was just one little A.I. program, what could go wrong? Oh, riiiight.....
2) Tyrell Corporation: Blade Runner
Ideal applicants must be willing to forgo relocation off-world and Voight-Kampff tests are mandatory in the application process.
There are your multinational-conglomerate kinds of companies and then you have the Howard Hughes style empires, and that's just what you've got in Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi masterpiece. Tyrell Corporation is the property of one man living alone in a penthouse surrounded by his possessions and his obsession with playing god. This goes to prove that sometimes a mogul can be just as dangerous as a nameless, faceless, corporate board of directors.
3) Gekko Industries: Wall Street
Ideal applicants are 'creative' with numbers and have a high tolerance for verbal abuse and cigar smoke.
You can thank Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas for creating a generation of money grubbing, striped-shirt wearing, overly coiffed masters of the universe following their financial drama, Wall Street. This film fetishized an entire profession that most of us don't know all that much about, but that hasn't stopped us from yelling (incorrectly, I might add) 'Greed is good' at some point in our lives. So get ready for a whole new crop of Gekko-ites when later this year we get the return of Gekko in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, but this time the former power player is fresh out of the big-house and looking for a little revenge.
4) Weyland-Yutani: Alien/Aliens
Ideal applicants possess creative methodologies for transporting bio-weapons and must display a complete lack of a conscience.
Ridley Scott's colonial mega-corporation is part of the grand tradition of 'The Man' in science fiction film and literature, and when it comes to a business with a heartless bottom-line, it doesn't get much worse than Weyland-Yutani. So don't be fooled by their slogan: Building Better Worlds ... because the only thing that these guys would be building is one hell of a defense for a class-action lawsuit on behalf of those colonists....if they ever found any of them, that is.
5) Initech: Office Space
Ideal applicants must be able to be brutally honest with their superiors, possess exceptional organization skills with office supplies, and excel in male bonding and fraud.
In comparison with some of the other outfits on this list, the soul-sucking tech company brought to life in Mike Judge's comedy seems downright benevolent -- at least all they are looking to do is wear you down with boredom.
6) Omni Consumer Products: RoboCop
Ideal applicants are fluent in Japanese and have experience with demonstrating ED-209s.
No one ever accused Paul Verhoeven of being a subtle filmmaker, and a good example of that is his emblem of consumerism gone out of control, Omni Consumer Products. The satirical mega-corporation just about runs the world with subsidiaries in everything from food products to urban pacification tools, but I probably wouldn't use them as your best example in an argument about the benefits of privatization.
7) Umbrella Corporation - Resident Evil
Ideal applicants have a background in bio-weaponry and are able to tolerate mutants...and ineptitude.
Of all the corporations on my list, I think the incompetence of Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation wins the prize for the company most in need of a bail out. In the first film, we see Umbrella losing control of their own facility to a hoard of angry 'zombies' and in the second film, that time they lost a whole city. So did they get their act together by the third film? Maybe do a little process mapping? Nope, by the time Resident Evil: Extinction rolled around Umbrella had managed to screw it all up again and were on the run from their own product.